Discovery

Why Aquamarine and Bloodstone are March’s Birthstones

By: Shmukler Design

If you were born in the month of March, you are fortunate to have the option of selecting between two gems as your birthstone — Aquamarine and Bloodstone. And while the two stones couldn’t be more different in appearance, each is steeped in history and each is defined by the purported power within these mystical birthstones.

According to the Gemological Institute of America (GIA), both stones are noted throughout history for providing protection to those who wear them. Aquamarine — also known as the poor man’s diamond — features colors of the ocean, ranging from deep greens and blues to warmer light greenish blue, hues that might be seen surrounding a Caribbean island, whereas Bloodstone is a variety of quartz that is barely translucent and appears mostly as an opaque, almost black-green jasper, speckled with bright red spots of iron oxides, which defines its name. It is this “blood” that purportedly brings strength to anyone who wears the stone.

Here’s what you need to know about both of March’s birthstones:

Aquamarine: Known as the Sailor’s Stone

Because aquamarine is tied so closely to the ocean (aqua is Latin for water and mare means sea) the gem was known for providing protection against storms at sea and provide safe passage for those who traversed the Mediterranean Sea as far back as 500 years before the birth of Christ. Roman sailors associated aquamarine with Neptune, the god of the sea, and Greek mariners were offered the same protection from Poseidon, their Greek god who held the same oceanic occupation.

Aquamarine Gemstone with Peridot

Aquamarine Gemstone (center) with Peridot (on the left and right)

Besides saving sailors, aquamarine reportedly took on other powers, including:

  • Keeping marriages together
  • Providing protection against foes in battle and lawsuits
  • Power to quicken the mind

The Romans believed the translucent stone possessed healing powers up to and including preventing intentional poisoning. And mystical seers saw the stone as a mirror, providing them with a means of predicting the future.

Today, aquamarine is primarily mined in the Minas Gerais area of Brazil, where the blue gemstone has been removed from hard rock and pegmatite for more than 200 years. A much lighter “water clear” stone is also found along Pakistan’s mountainsides where some cliffs rise more than 13,000 feet above sea level.

And the stone is also uncovered in the African nations of Madagascar, Nigeria, Zambia, Mozambique and Kenya, while here in the United States, aquamarine is mined in parts of Colorado and is that state’s official gemstone. And in California, it is found in areas of San Diego and Riverside counties.

Bloodstone’s Birthplace at the Foot of the Cross?

Stories handed down through the ages talk about bloodstone, the dark green gem with bright red splatters. In some circles, it is believed that drops of blood from the wounding of Jesus Christ himself on the cross landed on green jasper stone at the foot of the cross. The name bloodstone derives from the belief that the stone’s color has such just such religious significance.

Bloodstone gemstones

Set of Bloodstone gemstones

The ancient Greeks believed that bloodstone — also known as heliotrope (“to turn the sun”) — could make the sun turn a reddish color if properly placed in water. Metaphysical properties attributed to bloodstone include:

  • The ability to become invisible
  • Associated with having great strength
  • A “Fountain of Youth” remedy for staying young and healthy

Today, bloodstone jewelry is considered good luck and is frequently worn by athletes to increase their prowess in competitions. Some in India sell crushed powder from bloodstone to those who believe it is a potent aphrodisiac.

India is the gemologist’s Mecca for mined bloodstone, with most of these quartz-like stones being fashioned into cabochons, which are gemstones that are shaped and then polished instead of faceted like aquamarines. Bloodstones are also found in the United States, China, Brazil and Australia.

Interested in having your birthstone used in a piece of custom jewelry? Give us a call anytime (949-870-9915)… we’d be happy to brainstorm or take your order for a truly unique piece of jewelry.

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